Monday, December 13, 2010

I love Christmas Treats

One thing I absolutely LOVE about the holidays is the excuse to eat all these delicious treats and do the kind of baking that you only do around the month of December. Typically I'll do what I call my Super Saturday and that's where I pick a handful of treat recipes and I'll just bake all day. However, given the motherly condition that I'm in this year the Super Saturday just isn't going to happen. But last week I got an email from Eagle Brand (Sweetened Condensed Milk) that had some recipes on it and one caught my eye. I made it this last weekend and almost ate half the pan. I took it to my little Beehive class on Sunday and they were more than willing to help me eat it. Recipe is below along with a Thanksgiving Belly Status pic.

1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
2 (6 oz.) packages white chocolate squares or white baking bars, chopped
3/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with wax paper, extending paper over edges of pan.
HEAT sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat until just bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in white chocolate until smooth. Immediately stir in peanuts and vanilla.
SPREAD evenly in prepared pan. Cool.
CHILL, covered, 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of wax paper. Cut into squares.

Happy Holidays to all my blahg readers and enjoy the treat if you make it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soup Season

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I'm not a photographer at all and so I don't have amazing pics of the scenery here in Utah but I do have something else to offer . . . a soup recipe. I found this recipe off of and consider myself lucky that I did so.
One of my 2 favorite places to eat when I go back home to Texas is a little french bakery called La Madeleine. And everytime I go I prepare myself to over eat because it's so good and I have to get my fill in before heading home to Utah.

This recipe that I found tastes EXACTLY like La Madeleine's. Love it. I eat this with some surdough bread toasted with butter on each slice. I love dipping it into this soup.

Super easy and I hope you try it.

Tomato Basil Soup

2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
18 fresh small basil leaves, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 cp whipping cream
1/2 cp butter

First, I like to puree the tomatoes even further to make it super creamy. If you don't like chunks, like I don't, I always use my blender. In a large saucepan, bring to boil the tomatoes and broth. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add minced basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low; stir in cream and butter. Cook until butter is melted.

So yummy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We're Still Alive

Ok, I have truly fallen off the deep end but there is a very good explanation. I'm going to keep this short. Notice, I said WE are still alive . . .

Meet the newest addition to the Evan's Family. I can't get the stupid pic to rotate but you get the point. I haven't even unleashed my little womb inhabitant upon Facebook yet. Some of you know, and some don't. And some find out when they see me at church when they haven't seen me in months because we don't cross paths.

Needless to say, I was missing for a LONG time because our little BE (baby Evans) was reeking havok on my body and I got quite acquainted with the toilets in my house. Enough said. I was very sick, and sick a lot. Not to the point where I was in the hospital but sick enough to where I was on 2 different pills and I considered myself a dependant on those things.

And lastly - who is little BE? Well this is Jared's and my daughter - Maizie (May-Zee) Laine Evans.

Due Date is 1/28/11. Officially on the downhill slope and hoping she comes into this world during a complete blizzard.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh my Marshmallow

I don't know about you but there is something about any treat that requires some form of marshmallow. I'm all over it. This week my sister Cerise emailed me a recipe that is a total winner. If you don't normally make anything I post on this blahg I highly suggest that you make a change and make this. Its to die for good.

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
3 Tbs baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10.5 oz package mini marshmallows
1 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 Tbs butter
2 cups rice krispies

Preheat over to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a small bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows and bake 2-3 minutes longer. Let cool completely. After cooled, in a saucepan combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and 3 Tbs butter and melt over low heat stirring until blended. Remove from heat and stir in the rice cereal. Spread over cooled bars and then chill.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

For your Summer Reading List

Ok I know summer is still a good month and half out but if you need a book on your list here's one. This was the best book I read during the first quarter of 2010. This book is long and takes awhile to get into. But I got sucked into it. If you are a serious reader then you'd enjoy this. Its one of those books that has an ok beginning, a good middle and a super good ending. But you have to be willing to give it the time to get there. Its the story of 2 conjoined twins separated at birth in Ethiopia and their story of growing up. Good Summer fiction. Didn't expect to like it and I loved it.

2 For the Money - 1 For the Show

Ok so it no secret that Muse has been a favorite band of mine for awhile. I about lost it when I found out they were stopping in SLC in April for a concert. I was on Jared's laptop the day after Christmas buying tickets at 8:30 AM. We went to the concert on Monday April 5th and had the BEST time. BEST CONCERT EVER. I don't care who you are - go see these guys if you can. They are amazing musicians and they really shine live. Jared took a few pics with his phone while we were there. The SLC concert had the most random group. I had 2 ten year old boys in front of me and then a rockin' older lady next to me.
But here's the funny thing - I got to see these guys again in Vegas at Mandalay Bay that weekend! Crazy huh? So I just happened to email a favorite friend of mine who lives there and told her to go see them. In the matter of an hour she had 2 tickets and wanted me to come down. So I did. It was a quick trip to Vegas but we were super close to the stage like 5 rows away on the side and it was amazing all over again.
Can't wait to go again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Caramel, Chocolate and a Sugar Cookie Crust

Ok I owe you guys a recipe. This is a favorite of mine and its addicting and very very good. Its a bit rich but I must have more of a weathered palate because I can eat a lot of this in one sitting if I let myself. And I do!!! Watch - I've probably already posted this but its worth mentioning again.

Ooey-Gooey Turtle Bars
1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough (I actually make my own and if you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe, I say take the extra time and step and make it yourself)
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350 (325 for dark or nonstick pan). Press sugar cookie dough evenly into bottom of ungreased 13x9 inch pan.
2. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups pecans over dough. Press lightly and set aside.
3. In 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Stir in brown sugar, caramel topping and graham cracker crumbs. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour over crust in pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups pecans.
4. Bake 25-32 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown and pecans are lightly toasted. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes; loosen sides from pan but do not cut. Cool completely, about 3 hours longer. Cut into bars.

So so good.

An Ingenious Baking Tip

I can't believe I never thought of this myself. I like to make cutter cookies occasionally. I wish I felt motivated more often to make them since they take up a little more time than other baked goods and quite a bit messier. Well I happen to pick up this chocolate cutter recipe (sorry - the recipe was bad) and it had a GREAT tip.

Instead of flouring a surface you can place your dough between 2 pieces of wax paper and you can roll out your dough that way and it eliminates the stick factor. It worked and I will now be doing this will all my cutter dough.

Nutella Frosting on a Cupcake? Yes, please!

Ok, I'm lame. I can't believe I went the entire month of February without posting something. That's bad. I'm making restitution by giving you a link to a food blog that I'm loving lately. Anyone who posts a recipe for Nutella frosting gets my immediate attention.

Here's my cupcakes I made for a book club I belong to. They were better than good. They were scrumtchy, yummy, overeating threat good. I'm soooooo glad I bought 2 jars of Nutella at the store!! I still have one left and I'm racking my brain to see what else I can slather this delicious goodness on.

So here's the link to the blog. And don't worry, their cupcakes are infinitely cuter than mine. But hey! An amateur can try right?

Also - I made these chicken taquitos from the same blog and they were so good.

Everything I have tried off this blog has been good. So go check it out and let me know if you try anything that you just love.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can't Wait to be Kissed

I have been really excited for Valentine's Day this year because I'll be celebrating it with a BFF in North Carolina. But before I go on my trip I was getting anxious to make some festive luv treats. I did some research and got a few recipes I'm going to make this week but I just had to make some sugary goodness tonight. So it was a Pre-Feb taste.

Who doesn't love sugar cookies? Now I make a wicked cutter cookie but this recipe is a spin on the sugar cookie dough recipe. Now, this isn't my signature cutter cookie recipe because that's just one of those recipes that I keep secret. But I found this recipe last week, made it tonight and it was really good. It comes in 2 parts.

Almond Kisses

First you need some sugar cookie dough, here's the recipe:
3 cps flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cp unsalted butter softened
1 cp sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs milk

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Take dough out of bowl and put on a clean work surface.

The kissing it with almonds part
1/4 cp flour
1/4 cp whole almonds, very finely chopped (I did mine in a mini food processor)
1/4 tsp pur almond extract
1/2 cp powdered sugar
2 Tbs red sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a work surface, knead the flour into the sugar cookie dough. Add chopped almonds and almond extract and knead dough until evenly incorporated. Scoop level tablespoons of dough and roll into smooth balls between the palms of your hands. Place balls about 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 20 minutes. Bake until set and golden on the bottom, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Stir the powdered sugar and red sugar together in a shallow bowl. While cookies are still warm, roll in sugar mixture with a fork until completely coated, gently pressing cookies into mixture to adhere the sanding sugar. Transfer to paper towel to cool.
Really good - not too rich. But the perfect amount of yumminess to make you smile from being almond kissed.

There will be another treat this week I'll blahg about. So check back later. It involves pink icing. Fun!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Itchin' for a treat during your favorite tv show?

To ward off the couch potato funk that I can sometimes get when I have bank holidays off like today, I thought I would start the day by posting a recipe for a yummy cheese queso dip that I've made recently. My family are big fans of queso dip and we're always looking for good recipes.

I made this for NYE and we ate it with the Fullers. Well I made way too much and I said I was going to freeze it for a later date. It ended up sitting in my fridge too long and I threw it out. Well Sabrina calls me 2 Sundays ago looking for the frozen queso because she was celebrating one of her shows coming back on TV. I hated to disappoint her. So I made it again yesterday and this time I really did freeze it and I really saved Sabrina some.

Oh and the picture doesn't make it look good but I consider my food trustworthy and fool proof. Ok let's get started.

Sausage Con Queso

1 lb cooked ground beef
1 lb cooked hot italian sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can diced tomatoes, plain or with seasoning
2 lbs mexican velveeta cheese cubed
2 cups hot salsa
tortilla chips

I just mix all of the above ingredients and put it in my crockpot for an hour or so on low. And then stir it throughout .

Fun - off to other activities so I don't get the lazy hangover.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Wow Reading to Start off 2010

I’ve really been extremely fortunate to start out the new year with some amazing books. These books are leaving me saying wow a few times and just completly loving them.

First book I read for 2010 was A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now I really didn’t want to read this book but it was so popular and got near perfect reviews that I decided I better find out for myself if it really was as good as everyone said. And boy was it. I had read Kite Runner and liked it a lot but I absolutely loved this book. Heart wrenching, that’s all I can say. I definitely recommend it.

Second is actually a series that I have gotten completely engrossed in. Today I just finished book 2 in the series and I cannot wait to read book 3. The books are a historical fiction account of Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. I have loved every minute of these books. I also got super fascinated with the time period. Book 1 starts off a short time before the French Revolution and goes through the Reign of Terror and so on. So good. I highly recommend these as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 09 Favorites Short List

Ok so again long over due post but oh well. Here’s a list of some favorites of 2009.

Favorite TV Show: Mad Men – although I was not alive in the 60s this show has totally sucked me into all the drama. The writing is awesome and every show makes me laugh even though this show is not a comedy.

Favorite Rolls: Texas Road House – we go to dinner with our dining buddies, The Fullers often and we almost always go here. Seriously, I think my record roll eating number is now at 6 rolls during a dinner. Time to cut down.

Favorite Movie of 09: Avatar – I’m not a huge movie person at all but I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I really like it despite its futurism and occasionally cheesy moments. 500 Days of Summer is a close 2nd. Made me laugh and I don’t find most movies funny.

Favorite Author: Charlaine Harris

Quick note - if you are thinking of reading anything I'm posting below you should ask me so I can give you a quick run down so you know if it might be something you'll like. And just as a note, there are a few books listed here that contain mature content . . . ok moving on

Favorite Book Series of 09: Harper Connelly, Southern Vampire Mysteries, Hunger Games, there's others but I wrote the top three

Favorite Stand Alone Books for 2009: The Book Thief, Time Traveler’s Wife, Skeletons at the Feast, and The Help – which one would I most definitely make sure I read in my lifetime? Book Thief. This book completely left an impression on me unlike any other book I had ever read. And knowing how much I read, that says a lot.

Favorite Gadget of 09: My Amazon Kindle. Jared suggested I get a handle on the book habit and so the Kindle was my Christmas gift. I love it and its completely changed the way I’ve read a book. Its weird not having the physical book anymore but I’m enjoying the different experience.

On to 2010. I’m planning on taking some cooking courses at Orson Gygi later in the Spring and I’m looking forward to those. I would also like to learn how to sew and perhaps I’ll think about committing to that around my birthday. Of course I’ll continue to read and keep everyone posted about what’s on the kindle.

May everyone have the best that 2010 has to offer.